Viettel looking to expand to North Korea

08 Jan 2019

Vietnam's Viettel is reportedly exploring expanding into multiple other international markets, including potentially North Korea.

The operator first sought permission to build a mobile network in North Korea in 2010, Viettel president and CEO Le Dang Dung toldReuters. But it is waiting for sanctions to be lifted and for the country to be opened to foreign investors.

In the interim, Viettel is in talks to buy stakes in existing operators in Malaysia and Indonesia, and an unnamed European country. But the operator plans to cease further investments in the African market, where it has struggled with profitability.

According to the report, Viettel is also seeking to double its subscriber base in Myanmar by the end of the year.

The company has accrued 5 million subscribers since launching its Myanmar joint venture Mytel early last year.

Meanwhile Viettel aims to be the first operator in Vietnam to develop a 5G network. Military-run Viettel has around 60 million domestic subscribers. Its international arm Viettel Global has over 30 million customers across 10 countries, mostly in Asia and Africa.

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